Bishop of Ripon and Leeds raises concerns over implementation of welfare reforms

On 21st October 2013, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Rt Revd John Packer spoke during the debate on the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations 2013. The Bishop said he hoped that proper attention would be paid in the working out of the universal credit system to the mother’s role, which in many circumstances was crucial when the whole family was under stress. He also expressed concern about the monthly payments system, which was making it more difficult to control family finances. The Bishop hoped that the Minister would give an assurance that one-month’s back-dating would be legitimate without a particular reason needed for it and would clarify the circumstances under which a claimant was considered unable to claim online due to system failure.

R_LThe Lord Bishop of Ripon and Leeds: My Lords, I am very grateful to the noble Lord, Lord McKenzie, for bringing this matter to our attention again, and for the three powerful speeches which we have already heard. First, I want to emphasise my concern about that part of the Motion which speaks of the way in which universal credit awards paid in respect of children will not necessarily by default be paid to the main carer of the children and the disproportionate impact this will have on women. Through my work, I have become increasingly aware of the mother’s crucial role in the sorts of situations that we have been discussing over the past few minutes and indeed over the past few years. The mother needs to have proper control of the money which is coming for the benefit of the family and in respect of her children. I hope that in our discussions and the way in which the regulations and the whole universal credit system are worked out we shall be able to pay attention to the mother’s role, which in many circumstances is crucial when the whole family is under severe stress. Continue reading “Bishop of Ripon and Leeds raises concerns over implementation of welfare reforms”

Bishop of Ripon and Leeds calls for greater research on impact of under-occupancy charge

On 21st October 2013, Baroness Hollis of Heigham asked Her Majesty’s Government what advice they give to social landlords whose tenants have fallen into arrears as a result of the under-occupancy charge. The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Rt Revd John Packer, asked a supplementary question:

R_LThe Lord Bishop of Ripon and Leeds: My Lords, is the Minister aware of the evidence that people who are leaving accommodation to avoid the under-occupancy charge are being rehoused in private accommodation at greater cost? What steps are being taken to monitor this?

Lord Freud: My Lords, as I have just pointed out, we are undertaking an elaborate set of research programmes to understand this. If a family moves into private accommodation, which is more expensive, it does not necessarily mean that there is a net cost, because it frees up larger accommodation in the social rented sector to which a family can move from the expensive private sector.

(via Parliament.uk)

Votes – Care Bill

On 14th, 16th and 21st October 2013, a number of bishops took part in divisions on the Government’s Care Bill, during its Report Stage.

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

14 October 2013

Labour Peer Lord Hunt of Kings Heath moved amendment 63, which sought to create a model deferred payment scheme, to act as a framework for all local authorities.

The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, voted ‘content’. The Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Christopher Hill, voted ‘not content’.

There were: Contents: 202 | Not Contents: 224 | Result: Government Win

(via Parliament.uk)

Continue reading “Votes – Care Bill”

Vote – Offender Rehabilitation Bill

On 25th June 2013, the Bishop of Ripon & Leeds, the Rt Revd John Packer, took part in two divisions on the Government’s Offender Rehabilitation Bill, during its Report Stage.

House of Lords Division Lobby
House of Lords Division Lobby

Crossbencher Lord Ramsbotham moved amendment 1, calling for parliamentary approval ahead of any probation service reforms.

The Bishop of Ripon & Leeds voted ‘content’. No bishop voted ‘not content’.

There were: Contents: 215 | Not Contents: 186 | Result: Government Defeat

(via Parliament.uk)

Continue reading “Vote – Offender Rehabilitation Bill”